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Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China&nbs
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1981.01.01
NATIONAL PEOPLE'S CONGRESS
MARRIAGE LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
 (Adopted  at  the  Third Session of the Fifth National People's
Congress and promulgated  by Order No. 9 of the Chairman of the
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on September
10, 1980, and effective as of January 1, 1981)
CONTENTS
CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER II MARRIAGE CONTRACT
CHAPTER III FAMILY RELATIONS
CHAPTER IV DIVORCE
CHAPTER V SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 @@  Article  1.  This  Law  is  the  fundamental code governing
marriage and family relations.
 @@  Article  2.  A  marriage system based on the free choice of
partners, on monogamy and on equality between man and woman shall be
applied.
 The  lawful  rights and interests of women, children and old people
shall be protected.
Family planning shall be practised.
 @@  Article  3. Marriage upon arbitrary decision by any third
party, mercenary  marriage  and  any other acts of interference in
the freedom of marriage shall be prohibited. The exaction of money or
gifts in connection with marriage shall be prohibited. Bigamy shall be
prohibited. Maltreatment and desertion of one family member by another
shall be prohibited.
CHAPTER II MARRIAGE CONTRACTS
 @@  Article  4. Marriage must be based upon the complete willingness
of both man and woman. Neither party may use compulsion on the other
party, and no third party may interfere.
 @@  Article  5.  No marriage may be contracted before the man has
reached 22 years  of age and the woman 20 years of age. Late
marriage and late childbirth shall be encouraged.
 @@  Article  6.  No  marriage may be contracted under any of the
following
circumstances:
 (1)  if  the  man and the woman are lineal relatives by blood, or
collateral relatives by blood up to the third degree of kinship; or
 (2)  if the man or the woman is suffering from leprosy, a cure not
having been  effected,  or  from  any  other  disease  which is
regarded by medical science as rending a person unfit for marriage.
 @@  Article  7.  Both the man and the woman desiring to contract a
marriage shall  register in person with the marriage registration
office. If the proposed  marriage  is found to conform with the
provisions of this Law, the couple shall be allowed to register and
issued marriage certificates. The husband-and-wife relationship shall
be established as soon as they acquire the marriage certificates.
 @@  Article  8. After a marriage has been registered, the woman may
become a member  of the man's family or vice versa, depending on the
agreed wishes of the two parties.
CHAPTER III FAMILY RELATIONS
@@ Article 9. Husband and wife shall have equal status in the family.
 @@  Article 10. Both husband and wife shall have the right to use
his or her own surname and given name.
 @@  Article  11.  Both  husband and wife shall have the freedom to
engage  in  production  and  other  work,  to  study  and  to
participate  in  social activities; neither party may restrict or
interfere with the other party.
 @@  Article  12.  Both husband and wife shall have the duty to
practise family planning.
 @@  Article 13. The property acquired by the husband and the wife
during the period in which they are under contract of marriage shall
be in their joint possession, unless they have agreed otherwise.
 Husband and wife shall enjoy equal rights in the disposition of
their jointly possessed property.
 @@  Article 14. Husband and wife shall have the duty to maintain each
other.
 If  one  party  fails to perform this duty, the party in need of
maintenance shall have the right to demand maintenance payments from
the other party.
 @@ Article 15. Parents shall have the duty to bring up and educate
their children; children shall have the duty to support and assist
their parents.
 If  parents  fail to perform their duty, children who are minors or
are not capable of living on their own shall have the right to demand
the costs of upbringing from their parents.
 If  children  fail to perform their duty, parents who are unable to
work or have  difficulty  in providing for themselves shall have the
right to demand support payments from their children.
 Infanticide  by  drowning and any other acts causing serious harm to
infants shall be prohibited.
 @@  Article  16.  Children may adopt either their father's or their
mother's
surname.
 @@ Article 17. Parents shall have the right and duty to subject
their children  who  are minors to discipline and to protect them. If
children who are minors cause damage to the state, the collective or
individuals, their parents shall have the duty to compensate for the
losses financially.
 @@  Article  18.  Husband  and

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